CNN accused Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz of knowingly misstating the network’s reporting about rival Ben Carson during the GOP candidates’ debate on Saturday night.
In a statement the network said:
“What Senator Cruz said tonight in the debate is categorically false. CNN never corrected its reporting because CNN never had anything to correct. The Cruz campaign’s actions the night of the Iowa caucuses had nothing to do with CNN’s reporting. The fact that Senator Cruz continues to knowingly mislead the voters about this is astonishing.”
Cruz apologized to Carson for telling his supporters that the neurosurgeon was suspending his campaign, saying his supporters saw the news on CNN.
“My political team saw CNN’s report, breaking news, and they forwarded that news to our volunteers — it was being covered on live television,” Cruz said during the debate, noting that CNN “didn’t correct that story until 9:15 that night.”
CNN maintains that it never reported this, and never corrected its story because it had never reported it in the first place. Instead, CNN reporter Chris Moody said he had learned that Carson would be taking a break from the campaign trail after Iowa.
On the night of the Iowa caucuses, the Cruz campaign sent a message to supporters in Iowa suggesting that Carson might be suspending his campaign.
“The press is reporting that Dr. Ben Carson is taking time off from the campaign trail after Iowa and making a big announcement next week,” the Cruz campaign email read. “Please inform any Carson caucus goers of this news and urge them to caucus for Cruz.”